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College of Information and Communications

    Doctoral students and alumnus win information science honors

    Posted September 30, 2015
    Updated October 19, 2015
    By Haley Hinze, second year M.M.C. student

    School of Library and Information Science doctoral students Karen Miller and Hassan Zamir and 2015 graduate Dr. Chris Cunningham recently received high honors for their work with the Association for Information Science and Technology (ASIS&T)

    Miller earned the ASIS&T Cretsos award which honors an individual who has demonstrated leadership and initiative in his/her work. SLIS Distinguished Professor Emeritus Dr. Robert Williams, who nominated Miller for the award, said that she “is so deserving of the award and became active in ASIS&T very soon after joining.”  

    He continued, “Everyone in ASIS&T knows that if Karen has volunteered to do something it gets done. The really major thing about Karen is that when she agrees to do a job she does it — and does it well.” 

    Miller says she feels fortunate to be involved with ASIS&T. "I have been blessed with opportunities to participate in ASIS&T at many different levels. I hope that many other students will be encouraged by this award to join and get involved with professional organizations.” 

    Miller was also named ASIS&T’s Special Interest Group Member of the Year in 2014.

    Hassan Zamir, also a doctoral student, received a New Leaders Award, given to AISIS&T members of three years or less. The award was created to engage and retain new members of the organization, as well as identify potential upcoming leaders. Zamir said, "A group of four members reviews all [of the] applications and makes the final selection of a maximum of eight New Leaders based on various criteria, including the applicants’ contribution potentials for the society. Leaders are designated with mentors and can work in projects with their preferred SIGs. They also receive travel awards and free registrations for two consecutive conferences."

    Zamir has served ASIS&T's student chapter in SLIS and contributed to the national organization in different capacities. He explained that he began working with SIGs, particularly updating and transforming their web and social media platforms. In 2014, he became the chairman of SLIS's student chapter of ASIS&T, collaborating with other faculty members to "revamp" the organization and "arranging several workshops and seminars." 

    Apart from his involvement with ASIS&T, Zamir also teaches two undergraduate and one graduate course for SLIS and conducts research "in the area of social media analysis, information retrieval, data mining and information seeking." 

    May 2015 graduate Dr. Cunningham received ASIS&T’s ProQuest Doctoral Dissertation Award, a “first” for the University of South Carolina according to associate professor Dr. Kendra Albright. 

    Upon completing his dissertation, Cunningham submitted it to the award’s jury, a committee of seven members who choose the winner for the year they are appointed by the Information Science Education Committee.  This ProQuest (formerly UMI, University Microfilms International) sponsored award recognizes outstanding recent doctoral candidates whose research contributes significantly to an understanding of some aspect of information science.  ProQuest contributes $1000 to the winner as well as travel expenses to the ASIS&T Annual Meeting.

    Cunningham, who has been a member of ASIS&T for 10 years, has also been involved in Special Interest Groups, including serving as chair of the education group in 2013. “As a member of ASIST, I took the opportunity to talk with various faculty and practitioners in the Information Science world and was able to get some feedback on my research,” he said. 

    He also credits the SLIS faculty who aided him in the process of receiving this award. “I had a great advisor, Dr. Albright, and a fantastic committee, Dr. Sam Hastings, Dr. Paul Solomon and Dr. Lee Walker, that helped polish my dissertation. They provided invaluable feedback.” 

    Learn more about SLIS's award-winning doctoral program.

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    Haley Hinze

    Haley Hinze is a second-year Master of Mass Communication student from Greenville, S.C. With interests in public relations and visual communications, she aspires to enter the magazine publishing industry. When she's not in school, you can find her traveling almost anywhere.



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